• Knitting & Crafting

    4KCBWDAY4 Knitting and Crochet Blog Week – Colour Review

    Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

    What are your favourite colours for knitted or crocheted projects. Have a think about what colours you seem to favour when yarn shopping and crafting.

    Only after writing this part of your post should you then actually look to see what colours you have used in your projects. Make a quick tally of what colours you have used in your projects over the past year and compare it to the colours you have written about. Compare this, in turn, to the colours that are most dominant in your yarn stash – do they correlate?

    Now think back to your house animal – do the colours you have chosen relate to your animal in anyway – if you are in the house of peacock, for example, are your projects often multicoloured and bright?

    I am starting Knitting and Crochet Blog Week a few days late on Day 4. This colour question is always pertinent. I love colour and knitting has definitely opened my mind what I colours can and can not use, together or separate. Since I knit mostly for myself, I try to find colours that would look good on me.

    Colours I seem to favour: Red, Purple, Blue, as well as neutrals like White and Grey.

    This post is a bit image heavy.

  • Knitting & Crafting

    WIP Wednesdays: Welsh Country Stockings

    It’s been awhile since I put up a WIP post, and I almost forgot about it. Since April 1st, I’ve been working on the Welsh Country Stockings by Nancy Bush from Folk Socks:

    WIP Welsh Country Stockings

    Nancy Bush is still my favourite sock pattern designer even though I always modify her patterns. This one I went all out and converted it to toe-up which meant changing the heel, the toe, and due to shortage yarn, the colour scheme too.

    I am using the fabulous Hazel Knits Artisan Yarn which I got through the sock club last autumn. I still have three skeins of this year which is beautifully dyed and tightly spun. I hope it wears well over time!

    I am working on the leg of the socks. I’ve already done one set of 4 increases and will slowly work up to 72 or 80 stitches depending on how bored I get with them.

    On a final note, I am going to take part in next week’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week.This will be my first time participating. I will not answer all the prompts, but there are a couple that I want to post about.

    Have a good Wednesday!

    Have a good weekend! For more WIPs, go to Tami’s Amis.

  • Knitting & Crafting

    FO Fridays: Amstel Hat

    Amstel Hat

    When I saw this in the magazine, I thought it would be really suitable for my friend G who had requested a hat for her belated birthday gift. She really liked it and even has a wool scarf of the same colour.

    This hat took one lazy Good Friday to make as I watched several shows. This was a true stashbuster as I used Patons Classic Wool leftovers from some legwarmers I made for another friend. I don’t look very good in orange so if G hadn’t like this hat, I’m giving it away to someone else.

    Amstel Hat

    Amstel Hat, started March 29th 2013 AM, finished March 29th 2013 PM.Ravelry Project Page
    Pattern: Amstel Hat by Courtney Kelley from Interweave Knits, Fall 2012.Ravelry Pattern Page
    Made for: G
    Yarn: Patons Classic Wool – old yardage: 223yds/100g – Paprika – had 56g (124yds) and used all but 2g.
    Needles: #8/5.0mm for body and #6/4.0mm for brim long circs
    Modifications & Notes:

    • Techknitter’s Disappearing Loop Cast On
    • Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy BO
    • No other mods, but my gauge was tighter, probably 18 sts = 4”/10cm so it is a small beret.

    Cost of Project: None as the yarn itself was a gift.
    Would I knit it again? Sure, but it would need to be bigger for my own head and hair. Not really my style either, but quick and easy pattern.
    Helpful Links: Techknitter’s Disappearing Loop Cast On and Jeny’s Suprisingly Stretchy BO.

    Have a good weekend! For more FOs, go to Tami’s Amis.

  • Knitting & Crafting

    FO Fridays: Buttercup


    This project used the frogged yarn from Paris. I wanted something with positive ease for this yarn with lots of nice drape. I also wanted something with a good neckline. I must admit my neckline is a bit bigger than in the pattern, but it’s within reason and I can wear a tank top underneath. It is warm and light.


    Buttercup, started January 24th 2013, finished March 13th 2013.Ravelry Project Page
    Pattern: Buttercup by Heidi Kirrmaier Ravelry Pattern Page
    Size: Small.
    Sleeves: 17cm/7”
    Underarm to hem: 42cm/16”
    Bust: 40cm/15.5”
    Neckline: 22cm/8.5” W x 15.5cm/6”
    Yarn: Inca Gold Baby Alpaca by Susan Andrew Collection – 100% baby alpaca – 200yds/50grams – used 175g or about 4 skeins out of my 6
    Needles: #4/3.5mm long circ for body and #3/3.25mm long circ and DPNs for sideways garter rib and neck
    Modifications & Notes:

    • Cast on front piece with Cable Cast-On
    • No waist increases.
    • As PiPiBird’s variation on Ravelry: Knit “k4, k2tog” in the penultimate round of body. Knit another round and then did sideways garter rib: CO 14 sts on 3.25mm and knit last stitch with one stitch from the body.
    • Lengthen sleeves to about 36 rows and knit “k2, k2tog” for penultimate row. CO 12 st 3.25mm for sideways garter border for sleeves.

    Lessons Learned: Sideways garter rib.
    Cost of Project: Around $20-25 for the 4 skeins I think.
    Would I knit it again? Doubtful that I would need 2 of these, but this pattern is easy, attractive and appealing especially as written as the sideways garter was fiddly. I recommend it.

    Have a good weekend! For more FOs, go to Tami’s Amis.

  • Knitting & Crafting

    FO Fridays: Shedir

    Shedir IIThis is my second Shedir. My first Shedir was made over five years ago. I really liked this pattern the first time, and it is one of the items that many knitters and non-knitters alike remark on. I only did the main cable repeat 4 times because a lot of people said the hat was too long. It was a tad too short as it barely touched my ears. It was a beanie and I needed more of a toque. It is warm and light though.

    Shedir IISecondly, since this has been my favourite winter hat, I’ve gotten a lot of use out of it so it has felted over time. When I bought this oddball of Felted Tweed probably in 2008, I had a feeling that I would knit this pattern again.

  • Knitting & Crafting

    FO Friday: 2012 Review

    Flickr Slide show (does not include all projects done in 2012).

    A year end review of the items I made in 2012. This was my sixth year of knitting. I completed 10 projects (worked on 13). Compare that to the 33 I completed in 2011, the 2012 number is very low.

    I do still love to knit, but this year, I’ve taken on more hobbies. I’ve gone back to blogging, reading more, played badminton for a bit, tried to spin for a bit too, play the violin again, socialise and much more. All of this means I am spread more thinly in my leisure time, and honestly, that’s alright. I think I knit so much the last couple of years 2010 and 2011 – especially, the big three S’s: sweaters, scarves/shawls, and socks – that I will have enough handknits to last me awhile. I just am more careful about the projects I start, and I don’t feel the need to start projects as quickly after completing them.

    The problem is that I still continue to accumulate a lot of yarn. Not as much as when I knit more before, but still a good amount. This year had me joining the Hazel Knits sock club for a couple of months and the occasional yarn purchase. I also took up spinning briefly which means I now have a small spinning stash of fleece and roving.

    Here’s a summary and notes of the projects of this year.

  • Knitting & Crafting

    FO Fridays: Paper Totoros

    Paper Totoros

    This Totoro version of the Paper Dolls sweater is something I have wanted to do for a couple years now. After rewatching My Neighbor Totoro, it was definitely time to make this sweater. This is my homage to Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki.

    It didn’t quite work quite like I wanted it to. Mainly that even though I was at gauge, my yoke ended up a bit tighter, but I think worse of all, the underarm and sleeve cap is tiny. I’ve found that small arms are an issue with Kate Davies patterns. I can just get away with it because I don’t have big arms to begin with. It doesn’t look tight, but the upper arms are very restrictive. Relative to the upper body, the torso is on the looser side actually. I did extra waist decreases, but it still gave me some positive ease.

  • Knitting & Crafting

    FO Fridays: Taska

    Taska This knit purse was a stashbusting project from yarn from the first sweater I ever made: Aftur (Ravelry link). I had several left over balls from the main sweater and the fair isle. The designer probably foresaw this and designed this companion purse to go with it. Taska It is doubtful that I will use it often because I tend to like bigger bags. I don’t really wear the sweater often either, but only for outdoors activities such as skating and hiking which I don’t very often in general. I love this sweater though. It is very itchy so I always have to wear turtleneck underneath it, but it is very warm and it almost feels like I am wearing protective chain mail with it on. I love lopi wool.

    Taska, started September 10th, finished October 3rd 2012. Ravelry Project Page
    Pattern: Taska by Védís Jónsdóttir from Ístex Lopi No. 25 Ravelry Pattern Page
    Size: Blocked W 9.5″/25cm x H 10.5″/28cm
    Yarn: Ístex Létt-Lopi. Leftovers from my Aftur sweater. Here the original amounts I started with, and all leftovers from the original 12 bought for the sweater, save the last brown one. I only used up the brown and the orange one. Still have a fair amount of the others left:

    • Oatmeal: 32g+34g
    • Black Heather: 21g
    • White: 35g
    • Mustard: 41g
    • Crimson Red: 42g
    • Orange: 48g – Even though I had a full skein of this, ran out of this in the lining and had to finish with the Mustard.
    • Brown: 23g – I had little of the the black to start off, but I used leftover brown (23 g) from another lopi project to replace it. I also used this brown for the strap.

    Needles: HiyaHiya #7/4.5mm and #6/4.0mm 40″/100cm metal circulars. The latter only for the strap. Also a 4.0mm crochet hook for the loop.
    Modifications & Notes:

    • Judy’s Magic Cast-On for the start so I wouldn’t need to sew the bottom closed
    • Used a tutorial for the crochet loop tutorial. I am not a good crocheter so I did my best and it’s not neat, but it’s rather sturdy.
    • Slipped first stitch of every row the strap. Knit until I ran out of yarn which was around 115cm.
    • Blocked the strap and the bag before sewing them and the button on.
    • The strap is too long though, I would make it about 30cm shorter for someone of average height. I sewed it deep down into the bag for the result.

    Tools/Notions: One button.
    Cost of Project: Whatever the small fraction from the original 12 skeins I bought from the sweater ($65CAD) + the brown + the button.
    Would I knit it again? No, but I do like this pattern as a stashbuster.

    Have a good weekend! For more FOs, go to Tami’s Amis.

  • Knitting & Crafting

    WIP Wednesday: Paper Totoros

    WIP Paper Totoros

    Lately, I have been working on the Paper Dolls pattern by Kate Davies, but I am doing the Totoros variation. I’m using Sandnes Garns Sisu cream, green and dark grey for the Totoros so it will resemble the big one in the film. It was the most cost effective twisted yarn that I could find, and actually, it’s not bad so far. Just a tad fuzzy. I really like the look of the corrugated ribbing which I knit the MC White in my right hand and the CC1 Green in my left with Norwegian Purling.

    Someone on Ravelry gave me their Totoro spreadsheet, but I modified the decreases for my own size which took about an hour of maths. I’ve only made about three waist decreases so far and I’m decreasing faster in the pattern because I am making a smaller waist than for the size 6/34″ that I am making. I think I am mostly on gauge with my 2.75mm though I may need to change needles for the yoke to be smaller since many people seem to lit a bit looser for stranded work. Furthermore, my chart is taller than the one in the pattern.

    I am knitting a bit less these days since I have so many other hobbies going on. I still love to knit and am doing it regularly, but I am trying to achieve a balance with it. Before, I use to knit every day, and now, I am much better at knitting in big bursts every few days. The projects take longer, but I really need to cut back my knitting for other things.

    What’s on your needles today?

    For more WIP Wednesdays, go to Tami’s Amis.

  • Knitting & Crafting

    FO Friday: Girasole

    FO Friday: Girasole

    This project took me almost four months to complete. Unlike some knitters, I knit wool through the summer. I once made my Hemlock Ring Blanket, another Jared Flood pattern, in early summer too. I can bare heat pretty well. I live in Canada so the summers are not unbearable for wool knitting until this year! I started in May, but I put it on hold for a month to knit something else. I almost didn’t knit in July, the dryest and hottest July in my hometown’s history. Most of the work was done in August and early Sept.


    I wanted to knit Eco 8014 with this. I really love the Eco wool, but I could not afford to make this project with that yarn. Come last Boxing Day, the Fishermen’s Wool was on sale (and I also had a coupon) making the price of it about a third of what the Eco would have been. Even though I wanted to do this originally in the Oatmeal, there was only the other colours available. The Fishermen’s Wool is a fine affordable yarn, but it has a lot of knots. I think I averaged 2-3 per skein. Sometimes, I would get lazy and not cut them out, but usually I’d cut and felt together again.


    Blocking: I’ve been so lazy with my lace blocking of late. I didn’t even bother to pin this one. I did my usual which is soaked it in Eucalan and spun it in the washing machine. Then, I put it on a clothes rack (like the ones you buy for indoor hanging), but put it outside in the setting sun. Afterwards, I just laid it on my bedroom floor and walked on it. The edging looks the most floppy and unblocked, but the center is very lacey. It also came out bigger than in the pattern which is good. It’s definitely a nice size for a double bed, but I sleep on a twin/single. I am already using it as it’s a great extra layering blanket on these autumnal nights.


    Girasole, started May 19th, 2012, Bound off September 9th 2012. Ravelry Project Page
    Pattern: Girasole by Jared Flood from Brooklyn Tweed Ravelry Pattern Page
    Size: roughly 84″/220cm in diameter which is larger than the pattern’s projected 72″ diameter
    Yarn: Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool – 4.12 skeins in Natural. Four whole skeins and 27grams from a fifth one. Thank goodness, I bought more when it went on sale again in February.
    Needles: HiyaHiya #10.5/6.5mm 120cm/60″ bamboob circulars with an additional bamboo 100cm/40cm circular of the same size to finish the edging.
    Modifications: None, really. I used techknitter’s circular CO, which is my preferred circular cast-on. Video for that here. As an added tip, for the double YOs: I knit 1, purled 1 into the first YO and then knit 1 into the second.
    Tools/Notions: Used lifelines a few times and stitch markers always for lace.
    Cost of Project: For the four skeins, $28 but with the fifth, an additional $7. I bought these needles specifically for the project when I bought the pattern in 2010. I think the needles were $10.
    Would I knit it again? Doubtful. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, but the longer it took to knit, the more it became this big chore to finish. The reason that I wanted to do this so bad was because I loved my experience with the other blanket. This one was OK. I’d totally do another lace blanket again, but perhaps not this one.

    Have a good weekend! For more FOs, go to Tami’s Amis.

  • Knitting & Crafting

    WIP Wednesday: Stashbusting Lopi

    Hazel Knits Yarn Club August

    Last week, my first ever yarn/sock club purchase came in the mail from Hazel Knits Yarn Club. I have been waiting for this package for almost a month. Actually, if you factor in the fact I bought the early bird, I’ve been waiting for it for two months!

    I am not sure why it was delayed. From the USA, things can take as quick as one week, usually less than two weeks. I became increasingly worried about it because it is very nice yarn and was my first club purchase. Even on the day it arrived September 4th, I was preparing to email Wendee the dyer and/or the USPS.

    But it came and it is lovely! I am not sure what to do with it at the moment other than to ogle and fondle it. I may use the green for a stranded sweater I had in mind. Not sure. It did come with a stranded sock pattern which is also tempting. Hmm.

    In other news, I finished Girasole and it is big, lacey, dry and with rough edges. The FO post up this Friday hopefully.

    As usual, I always start a new project right after I finish the previous one. My current project is stashbusting lopi by making Taska, a purse from Istex Lopi book #25. I own this book because I bought two years ago to make my first sweater, Aftur:


    Gosh, I adore lopi. You can’t wear it everyday and it’s difficult to wear indoors because it is so hot, but when for outdoors, it is perfect. I’ve worn it on a hike in the woods in the autumn and skating with a merino turtleneck underneath at -15’C. It feels like iron. I was always proud of this sweater even though it is a bit on the boxy side since I didn’t add any waist shaping. As a first sweater, I think it is pretty good.

    When I finished it, I ended up with a lot of leftovers including almost two full balls of the MC and lots of bits from the fair isle. Taska is the companion project and just a way for me to stashbust and knit lopi again. It is unlikely that I will use the purse very much, but it will be cute none the less.

    Taska purse

    Thanks for reading. Let me know what is on your needles today?